An object-oriented approach to generate mechanical assembly sequences

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Hu, Wen
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A mechanical assembly is a composition of parts interconnected to form a stable unit. The mechanical assembly sequence problem is to find a feasible, cost-effective sequence of tasks to perform the assembly. This problem has recently been recognised as significant by the manufacturing industries, since this plan will help mechanical designers to analyse the assembly tasks off-line and justify the cost involved in the process. Homen de Mello and Sanderson proposed the AND/OR graph notation to represent all feasible assembly sequences for a given assembly in one graph and also provide an algorithm to generate the AND/OR graph. Recently, object-oriented approach to software design becomes popular in the computer science community, mainly because of its advantages over the functional approach towards softwar reuse and maintenance. The object-oriented approach asserts that enhancement and adaptation of the software to the environment are easier to do, compared to the functional approach. In thesis, we have usedthe object-oriented approach to redesign the AND/OR graph generation algorithm for assembly sequence generation. This approach inherits the advantages of the object-oriented paradigm. The main contributions of this thesis are the following: (1) An object-oriented version of the assembly sequence algorithm to generate AND/OR graph notation is given. (2) This version eliminates some of the redundant steps in the functional algorithm. (3) The object-oriented design described in this thesis is easy-to-understand, easy-to-enhance and inherits the advantages of the object-oriented paradigm. (4) A formal model of the object-oriented design is also included in the thesis.